Thursday 17th June 2021, 8.15am (day 3,584)
Since the start of the Great Fear it’s been the cities, like Manchester, which have felt the most alien and empty. Shoppers have come back, but not yet tourists nor office workers. Whether or not those latter groups will return, and how, is still an open question. But this stage, being built for the Manchester International Festival is, to me, a sign of optimism — yet there are still so many lockdown-loving lunatics out there (most obviously in the Labour Party) that we may never be sure of anything again. Covid ain’t going away, anyone. We will be catching it, ‘testing positive’ for it, for the rest of our lives. Get used to it.